Today in History
May 9

1502   Christopher Columbus leaves Spain on his final trip to the New World.
1754   The first newspaper cartoon in America appears.
1813   U.S. troops under William Henry Harrison take Fort Meigs from British and Canadian troops.
1864   Union General John Sedgwick is shot and killed by a Confederate sharpshooter during fighting at Spotsylvania. His last words are: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist–“
1859   Threatened by the advancing French army, the Austrian army retreats across the River Sesia in Italy.
1915   German and French forces fight the Battle of Artois.
1926   Explorers Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett make the first flight over the North Pole.
1936   Fascist Italy captures the city of Addis Abba, Ethiopia and annexes the country.
1941   The Royal Navy captures the German submarine U-110. Onboard is the latest Enigma machine, which will help Allied cryptographers eventually break the German code. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1946   King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicates his throne and is replaced by Umberto I.
1962   A laser beam is successfully bounced off the moon for the first time.
1974   The House Judiciary Committee begins formal hearings on Nixon impeachment.
Born on May 9
1800   John Brown, abolitionist.
1844   Belle Boyd, Confederate spy.
1860   James Mathew Barrie, writer (Peter Pan, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up).
1873   Howard Carter, British archaeologist.
1882   Henry J. Kaiser, shipbuilder.
1906   Eleanor Estes, children’s author.
1921   Mona van Duyn, American poet laureate.
1934   Alan Bennett, British playwright and screenwriter (The Madness of King George III).
1936   Albert Finney, British actor (Murder on the Orient Express, Tom Jones).

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